Monday, July 31, 2006

eLanguage School

I received an email recently calling my attention to a new website for online language learning, Language School. I've been checking it out, and while it seems to be a work in progress, there are some handy pages in there. The Russian section has audio webcasts that are spoken slowly so learners can keep up, and you can follow along in the transcripts. In the Japanese section, the podcasts sound very much home-made, but the announcer Hitomi is so かわいいー. I also like the animated characters in the Chinese section. The different "courses" appear to be gathered from various free or GPL'ed websites and wikis, which accounts for the uneven quality. The site shows potential, though. Take a look!

Some of the websites credited by Language School look interesting in their own right. Indo-European Languages contains tutorials for thirteen IE languages, plus Finnish (European, if not Indo-European) and Indonesian (because it starts with Indo-?). Another website I want to investigate further is the Wikibooks Languages bookshelf. So many languages, so little time...

Posted at 22:30 PDT  Link | Tags: ,

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hot Flashes from a Fevered Brain

Is it hot enough for you? Here, at least, il fait chaud, hace mucho calor, fa molto caldo, but I'm just warming up. Ужасно жарко, and even the cat is hot. 暑くてたまらない, tha e teth. The heat goes on! va, tujqu'. Bero haundia egiten du. Nui ka wela! Η ζέστη είναι ανυπόφορη αυτές τις μέρες. I asked Yahoo! Answers how to say it in German, and got back 4 answers in 10 minutes! Es ist sehr heiß!

How hot is it, anyway? It's so hot, the chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs. It's hotter than a fox in a forest fire, and I'm hot as a boiled owl! And furthermore, it's hot enough that the dog was chasing the cat and they were both walking.

Finally, did you know that English has more than 40 words for hot? baking, blazing, blistering, boiling, broiling, burning, calescent, close, febrile, fevered, feverish, feverous, fiery, flaming, heated, igneous, incandescent, on fire, ovenlike, overheated, parching, piping, pyretic, recalescent, roasting, scalding, scorching, searing, sizzling, smoking, steaming, stifling, sultry, summery, sweltering, sweltry, thermogenic, torrid, tropic, tropical, and very warm. Surely this says something very important about the English language!

Posted at 16:40 PDT  Link | Tags: ,